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Virtualisation for Computer Networking Skills Development in a Distance Learning Environment

Donelan, Helen; Smith, Andrew and Wong, Patrick (2018). Virtualisation for Computer Networking Skills Development in a Distance Learning Environment. Computer Applications in Engineering Education (In Press).

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Virtualisation is a core technology for teaching networking and operating system skills. In a distance learning, or e-learning, environment, the use of virtualisation presents different challenges – both technical and pedagogical. In the initiative presented here, distance learning students studying a module on computer networking and server technologies were required to install virtual machines on their own computers in order to carry out practical labs originally designed for a classroom environment. This research explores and evaluates the strategies developed to support students via a survey of students completing the module. The findings show that the majority of students found it a valuable learning experience and developed practical skills relevant to computer networking careers. Recommendations are made to inform the future development of courses considering the use of virtual machines installed on students’ machines to enable practical labs to be undertaken at a distance.

Item Type: Journal Item
ISSN: 1099-0542
Extra Information: Accepted for publication
Keywords: distance learning; practical skills; virtual machines; networking and server technologies
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Computing and Communications
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Research Group: Centre for Research in Computing (CRC)
Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Item ID: 53063
Depositing User: Helen Donelan
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2018 11:01
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2018 11:01
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